Echoes Of The Fallen

Written by: AP on 26/12/2011 15:16:07

Some bands thrive on pushing the boundaries of music with each release; others prefer to stick with a tried and tested formula for success. Anterior belongs in the latter caste, offering under the title "Echoes of the Fallen" what is essentially their debut album "This Age of Silence" revisited: a faithful and shameless tribute to mid 90s Gothenburg style melodic death metal, with a modern wash.

For people expecting progression or a reinvention of Anterior's style the album is bad news, but for those of us who often find ourselves reminiscing about the glory days of the genre it delivers a welcome fix of soaring leads, infectious melodies and powerful rhythms in contemporary colors, much like releases by Sylosis and Unearth earlier this year. But beyond catering to people addicted to guitar virtuosity there is actually very little present here to justify praise, as the telepathic interplay of axemen Leon Kemp and Steve Nixon is the album's trademark and lasting legacy above and beyond all its other aspects. Not that this is a bad thing; it simply means that Anterior are unlikely to break free of their underground status anytime soon.

The inevitable consequence is, however, that while excellent cuts like "To Live and Remain", "Blood in the Throne Room", "Tyranny", "Of Gods and Men" and "Venomous" showcase a deluge of technical acuity and irresistible riffs, there is never a feeling of suspense or spontaneity. Anterior employ their trusted method with frustrating consistency, and coupled with Luke Davies' largely forgettable vocal performance - think of a somewhat less imposing John Pettibone stylized with generic metalcore elements - the unfortunate outcome is that most of the songs fall short of truly epic, longevious stuff.

Still, the sheer skill of musicianship on display, not to mention the band's unwavering conviction, is enough to afford "Echoes of the Fallen" an encouraging review. If the bands listed in the for the fans of section below strike a chord with you, then so will Anterior, without the slightest doubt. If you find yourself saddened by the resounding lack of quality melodic death metal in contemporary heavy music, "Echoes of the Fallen" provides an effective cure for the nostalgia with some of the best melodic death metal available from bands that do not belong to the old guard.

Download: To Live and Remain, Blood in the Throne Room, Tyranny, Of Gods and Men, Venomous
For the fans of: Himsa, Sylosis, Unearth
Listen: Facebook

Release date 26.08.2011
Metal Blade Records

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